Rush Limbaugh certainly does not need me to defend him, even as he is getting savaged by Media Matters and progressives. If you have not seen the clip being circulated online, Rush explains the President’s methodology for trolling Joe Scarborough.
I do not think the President should be doing what he is doing. I have said so and written so publicly. I think it is shameful and gross. But I also think Rush is brilliant and can explain Trump and his antics better than most. Rush explained how Trump was not actually creating conspiracies, but drawing people’s attention to existing conspiracies and doing so to get certain segments of the press and pundit class upset. You can learn a lot about Trump from listening to Rush and you can learn a lot about radio and entertainment by listening to Rush. In 2016, Rush saw what was coming and I was convinced Trump would lose. In fact, most of those now blowing up Rush were in the same boat as me in 2016.
Just to be clear too, I don’t necessarily agree with Rush’s characterization of the situation and really just wish the President hadn’t gone there at all. But seeing the pile on over Rush is nuts.
What I find notable is not the leftwing meltdown over Rush’s comments, but the failed talk radio show hosts who always come out of the woodwork to pile on Rush every time Media Matters launches a hit on him. The former is predictable. The latter is a new phenomenon in the age of Trump.
Radio is not an easy industry. It is both highly competitive and highly demanding. A radio show host like Rush talks three hours a day five days a week and he does it battling cancer. It requires not just skills to be entertaining and informative, but also a willingness to be relational with your audience and to build trust with them.
With a few exceptions (yes, to be clear, there are some successful hosts still at it or retired who have been very critical and I’m not talking about them), the radio show hosts who are attacking Rush Limbaugh right now are all individuals who failed in the industry and could not blame themselves for their failures. Instead, they blamed their audience. Much like the Democrats blaming Russia for Clinton losing, they cannot admit they were not good at what they did.
Instead, they have convinced themselves that Rush Limbaugh sold out in a way they did not and they are somehow pure as the driven snow. Actually, Rush has made over half a billion dollars and is the number one host in America. He didn’t have to sell out, people sold out ad inventory on his show by him being him. Perhaps instead of attacking Rush out of jealousy, be self-reflective.
Oh, and before you criticize me for defending Rush, I didn’t vote for Trump in 2016, said so publicly, regularly criticized the man, disagreed vehemently with my audience regularly, and still grew my audience and my relationship with them. That these stone throwers could not is notable.
The Georgia Surge
There’s a surge in cases coming to Georgia. Get ready for the I told you so moments. Interestingly enough, some of the best coverage on the Georgia situation has been on CNN. You should watch this.
The bump in Georgia cases happened on May 18, 2020, with 961 cases, which is actually the highest the state has seen. Much of the media says it is unexplained and it is unless you dig into the data. There are enough patterns to make a few extrapolations.
First, it has to do with an increase in testing. Georgia has been pretty notable that as testing has surged, cases haven’t. Well, it has now because of the populations being tested. If you follow the state’s data, you’ll find the surges are not in the metro Atlanta area, but in more rural areas. The cases are coming from migrant worker communities.
Those communities have been hounded by anti-immigration forces for so long, a lot of the workers keep to themselves and have been spreading the virus communally in their living arrangements. The state went in with Spanish speakers, assured the community no one was going to get rounded up, and educated them on the virus. It has actually helped curtail the spread. No one fears they’re going to get carted away, so they are willing to get help. The result is a spike in cases and then a sharp decline.
You can see the case situation in the graph. The moving average is just about to capture the spike.
This is not anything to worry about, but I am sure we will get some “told you so” commentary out there in the next few days.
The Cuomo Brothers
I’m glad to see The Atlantic calling this out. Yesterday, Andrew Cuomo ranted at a reporter he falsely accused of being with the New York Post for having the audacity to ask him about nursing home deaths.
New York’s Governor has not performed well under the circumstances and made some very bad calls, including incompetently shutting down New York and sending senior citizens with the virus back to nursing homes where they spread it.
If any governor does have blood on their hands, it would be him. But you’d never know it from his brother’s softball interviews and conversations on CNN.
Well, last night, Chris Cuomo got all morally outraged at the President for not tweeting out that we have passed 100,000 COVID-19 deaths in the country. I do recall the President lowering the flag to half mast over the weekend, but he apparently needed a tweet to satisfy Cuomo.
In his diatribe, Cuomo said
Look, Trump is not a king, except maybe in his own fantasy land. He can’t do anything to Twitter except to use it to do something to great effect. Bravo, sir. You distracted us from the dead and the dire situation that you’re basically ignoring because you think reopening at any price is a price worth paying for your reelection. Well, not here. Not here. You’re not going to forget those faces from all those places, you’re not going to remain silent. You’re going to be brought up and into the conversation. You are in play, Mr. President. This pandemic, this is the kind of thing, a concern that should define and consume a presidency. But, Mr. President, you will be defined by your indifference to the plan, the dire consequence, the indifference to the deaths. No plan to stop them any time soon. No national testing and tracing strategy.
Cuomo broke his quarantine, didn’t wear a mask out while doing so, ridiculed the President over hydroxychloroquine while taking a quinine derivative himself, and has never had any outrage over his brother’s performance in New York. Maybe he should spare us his outrage.
The President’s Executive Order
The President will today release an executive order that will take action against social media companies. There is lots of speculation about what it will do. I love this piece in the New York Times for how it tries to guard against getting the story wrong.
The Trump administration is preparing an executive order intended to curtail the legal protections that shield social media companies from liability for what gets posted on their platforms, two senior administration officials said early Thursday.
Such an order, which officials said was still being drafted and was subject to change, would make it easier for federal regulators to argue that companies like Facebook, Google, YouTube and Twitter are suppressing free speech when they move to suspend users or delete posts, among other examples.
First, it is not conservative for the government to go after companies with regulations over the free speech of their users. These are private companies and the first amendment does not apply to them.
Second, the order will be fought out in court if it does go there and will not go into effect.
Third, it is mostly symbolic and has everything to do with Twitter overstepping its bounds as fact-checker the other day. If the President could somehow end Twitter, it would be a most wonderful thing. But it isn’t going to happen.
Like the codependent relationship he has with the press, the President has one with Twitter.
I suspect this executive order will make the President feel better and his base will claim he did something, but nothing will actually change.